Bathroom Renovation: Installment One

Just for background, I have to include pictures of what the bathroom looked like when we bought the house in August of 2006:

The previous decorator loved:
1. crackle paint--see the brown on the left of the first photo, that was the color and paint style of the upstairs hallway
2. sponge paint--here is a prime example
3. wallpaper trim--yes, those are outhouses
4. odd color combinations--see the olive green toilet paper holder? That is the tile color in the shower. Who would match that with the evergreen trim?

So, as of Thursday morning, our bathroom (the sink and toilet half) looked like this:

You can get a better sense of the tile color in these photos and you can see that we brightened the room up with white and butter yellow paint. The flooring is actually "wood look" vinyl and is the same as the first batch of photos. In the last year we've had a safer outlet put in, a new bathroom fan and light fixture as well. We also had the tub plumbing fixed so it didn't leak into our kitchen light fixtures (bonus) and the tub tile regrouted so, again, no leaking into the kitchen. All of the plumbing and electrical work was done by the best handyman ever, Ron.

So, this current bathroom adventure started with the vanity faucet. It only dribbled water into the sink and then it leaked underneath the sink, making a big moldy mess of the vanity. With a little one on the way, I figured a working faucet was in order. Then, if we replace the faucet, we should replace the sink and moldy vanity. Then, if we replace the vanity, we should get a space-saver kind so we can fit a child's stool (so short ones can reach the sink) in the bathroom, too. In order to do that, we have to replace the vinyl flooring. So, I call up Ron, who, in addition to being a plumbing and electricity genius, also lays industrial tile.

To be continued....

Crafting: In Progress

Things have been very busy over here. As usual, I'm very good at starting projects, and I hope the finishing will happen sometime later.

Last weekend I started a quilt for the wee one. Here is a photo of the quilt top and fabrics chosen. The top is halfway done.

I started knitting this project on Inauguration Day. The yarn is a blend of kid mohair and baby camel fibers and was purchased locally at Tall Grass Fiber Farm (here is a picture of a mohair goat being shorn). The pattern is a simple moss stitch and the blanket will be washed once to full it slightly. After that it will need handwashing (This may not be the best plan for a baby item, but we'll see...).

And this weekend I started some cloth diapers. I have the middle layer for 24 newborn sized diapers complete. I'll share pictures later when they look more exciting. We've also been busy this week with some home renovation projects which I'll show you soon.

Crafting my little heart out

I've started to knit a blankie, make a patchwork quilt, and I've ordered a cloth diaper pattern all for the belly bean. I'll have to post photos of the other crafts soon, but today I'm including a picture of the very easy, very cute recycled t-shirt hats made for our little one. I found the pattern here. The hardest part is resetting the sewing machine tension to sew jersey fabric. After that, it is a breeze and I made 6. I used some old yoga t-shirts and the backs of some painting shirts. They are super soft from many previous washings and should be just the right weight for late May/early June.

Valentine's Dinner turns into "I heart Monty's"

If you've ever lived in Madison, Wisconsin, you must have been to or heard of Monty's Blue Plate Diner. It has retro diner decor, ultra-hip and tattooed waitstaff, the best pie on the planet, and some of the most comforting vegetarian fare I've ever had.

So, yesterday was Valentine's Day (in case you didn't hear) and I felt lousy all day (pregnancy insomnia story deleted). Finally, around 6pm, I pulled out of my funk and decided that Ben deserved a decent meal given all he has put up with. Last week I designed a recipe to mimic the Zucchini-Potato Pancakes (with sour cream and cranberry applesauce topping) at Monty's. They were a big hit, so I decided to repeat.

That looks like a lot of toppings, but it's my house, so I can do that sort of thing.

Then, while Ben helped me fry those up, I started on some Lemon Meringue Pie. This was my mom's (otherwise known as Pastry Chef Extraordinaire) recipe and it didn't disappoint.

The lemon filling is oozing, but we already let it cool for 40 minutes. We really couldn't wait any longer.

So, we had vegetarian comfort food and some of the best pie on the planet for Valentine's Day. That's our romantic dinner in Beloit. What did you do?

What more can I do?

I've been told 3 times in the last 2 days that I don't look very pregnant. I waddle when I walk now because my back is funky and then there's this belly out there for the world to see. Maybe I have to get one of those T-shirts that says "Baby on Board" with an arrow pointing down. Or, I could just wait another month or two....

This one is from today, 24 weeks and 1 day. 2 more weeks until the 3rd trimester.

Names we won't be picking

Ben and I are reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (thanks for lending it, Kat!), and we found two names from the 70's that we won't be choosing: Autumn Apple Windseed and Otis Francisco. Ben expounded on the theme and we've now turned down Butterknife Chopstick Spork and Dixie Chinette. Do you have any names for us to not use?